Fortescue produces first-ever green iron ore

fortescue

The Christmas Creek ore processing facility. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has produced high-purity green iron ore and trialled ammonia-powered freight as part of its Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) renewable energy and industry initiative.

The initiative aimed to test if there was 100 per cent green energy to manufacture green iron and steel, fertiliser and cement.

According to FFI chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth, trialling hydrogen, ammonia and battery technology was successful in powering the company’s trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs.

“To demonstrate this within Fortescue, we set ambitious decarbonisation targets for our own heavy industry,” Shuttleworth said.

“These are being driven by FFI’s Green Team, who are aiming to eliminate carbon emissions from our own operations. This work commenced in earnest only several months ago and the results have been immense.

“FFI’s green team has established a major facility at Hazelmere in Perth, where we have been managing and trialling technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs for technology demonstration. Our dedicated specialist teams have worked relentlessly to bring our own heavy industry decarbonisation into reality.”

FFI has created iron ore with more than 97 per cent purity at low temperature in a continuous flow process during the initiative.

The initiative also trialled the use of waste from the green iron process to make green cement with other sourced materials.

The testing also included the combustion of ammonia to create renewable green fuel, design and construction of a combustion testing device for ship engines, the finalised design of a next generation ore carrier.

For mine sites, Fortescue has tested battery cells to be used on its haul trucks, and designed and constructed hydrogen powered technology for drill rigs and haul trucks.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company is hard at work to transition from a fossil fuel importer to a renewable energy exporter.

“At Fortescue, we are leading the heavy industry battle against global warming, transitioning from being a major fossil fuel importer to a significant green and renewable energy and product exporter,” Gaines said.

“We are leading by example to decrease emissions across our operations, using our large industrial platform of operating mine sites in the Pilbara to trial and demonstrate technologies in completely renewable green hydrogen, green ammonia and green electricity.

“All of us at Fortescue are committed to its decarbonisation. Our great progress to date and our ongoing projects underpin Fortescue’s plan to become a major renewable energy and industry product exporter. As part of this plan, we are aiming to meet or beat our internal global industry-leading target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”

 

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